WASPS boss Dai Young has played down concerns surrounding forwards Joe Launchbury and Brad Shields after England boss Eddie Jones was given a twin injury scare as he watched their Champions Cup campaign come to an end with a 37-19 defeat at home to Leinster.
Flanker Shields did not start the game because of a side strain and Launchbury lasted just nine minutes at the Ricoh Arena. Injuries to the pair would have added to the woes of Jones (above), who already has a major concern over his captain Owen Farrell
Saracens fly-half Farrell has had surgery to repair ligament damage to a thumb and is expected to return in seven to ten days, a time frame that would enable him to play against opening Six Nations opponents Ireland in Dublin on February 2.
Reflecting on Launchbury’s early exit (below), Young said: ‘Basically, he got his head in the wrong position in a tackle and his head hit one of the Leinster player’s hips. He passed the HIA (head injury assessment for concussion), but his neck really stiffened up. That is why he didn’t come back on.
‘We are not going to chuck him out there if he is sore, but he is in the dressing room talking, he is not hugely restricted.’
On Shields, Young added: ‘Yesterday he took a knock to his hip and the muscle went into spasm.
‘He got a bit of a strain. He is going to be sore for 24 or 48 hours, but we don’t see them being a concern for England.’
■ TOULOUSE earned themselves a quarter-final trip to Racing 92 but they had to work hard for their 20-17 win over Champions Cup Pool One rivals Bath at Stade Ernest-Wallon. The Toulouse tries came from Joe Tekori and Antoine Dupont.